Grocery Store Etiquette: What Would You Do?

There's a fair amount of commentary about grocery store etiquette. There's even a book about it.

But I want to focus on one particular area that I have not seen discussed as much. What about comments by other shoppers about the food that you're buying? This issue was somewhat addressed on an episode of What Would You Do? Take a look at the grocery store bullying here. By the way, I'm a huge fan of John Quiñones!

Recently, I had a little encounter at the Stop & Shop in Quincy. Nothing like the one from the series, but it made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I've been told that I have the exact opposite of a poker face. You can read me like an ingredient label. I'm sure that the other person realized my dilemma.

So, I was unloading my shopping cart. The woman in front of me had already put all her food on the conveyor belt. She very nicely handed me the divider, so our items wouldn't get mixed up. She noticed that we had the same flavor frozen pizza. I had Newman's Own Thin & Crispy White Pizza with Spinach. It's really good! Here's a link to some coupons if you want to try it.

The woman had another brand, which I had tried before and did NOT like at all. She commented about her pizza and said that I should try it, because it's really good.  I was thinking,"How can you eat that? It's horrible! I'll never buy that again!" I wasn't going to say that to her face. So instead, I said, "Oh. Um. Newman's Own is really good and it's on sale."

My face must have looked like a deer in headlights. Then she said, "I was only commenting, because I noticed we had the same flavor." I think her feelings were hurt and I felt really bad.

In the words of the wise, entertaining, and rather handsome John Quiñones, "What would you do?"

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Chris said…
Grocery shopping etiquette should follow locker room etiquette. Don't look at what other people are carrying around and sure in heck don't comment on it.
Jessica Vescera said…
I enjoyed reading this post and would actually like to try the pizza you mentioned. The woman's feelings should not have been hurt. Everyone has an opinion and if you express your own to someone, that is an invitation for them to express theirs. I think...
I would have just been honest and said: You know, I tried that brand before and just didn't like it as much as Newman's Own.

Sure, it could have led to a question about what you didn't like about it, but that's easily taken care of by 'it just didn't suit my palate as well' or some such.

Usually I have cashiers asking me about produce or products (which always strikes me as on the verge of irony) and there's nothing ever wrong about giving your honest opinion. In a nice way, of course.
Nance said…
You can't help having an easily read face. It's not like you said what you were thinking out loud, right? I think you handled it as well as you could have. In situations where the other person begins a conversation like that, they have to expect to perhaps hear something they may not care to, such as a differing opinion. My mantra with strangers is always The Thumper Rule (esp. since Ohio is a concealed carry state LOL).
Lisa Johnson said…
chris - LOL! That rule translates very well.

jessica vescera - Thanks for the visit! Maybe she didn't give it a second thought. I hope you're right!

scraps - You're right. I could have just told her. Maybe I will next time. That's so funny about the cashiers. The same thing happens to me and I'm always surprised, because I assumed they knew about most of the items that they sold. Some have been especially fascinated when I buy rice milk.

nance - I always go by that rule too, but she was looking me dead in the face waiting for a response. I panicked! ; )
Jamie said…
I think what you said was perfect. We can not help what our faces convey but we can keep what comes out of our mouth from being ugly, and you did just that.
Lisa Johnson said…
jamie - Thanks for the visit and the kind words! : )

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